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Tucker Carlson’s New Crush

The Fox News host goes full anti-Semite in his latest rant, a love letter to Henry Ford

Liel Leibovitz
December 07, 2019
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Tucker CarlsonChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On a 10-minute-long segment of his show earlier this week, Tucker Carlson lamented the state of American capitalism. “During the last gilded age, 125 years ago,” he told his viewers, “America’s ruling class may have been ostentatiously rich, but it was still recognizably American.” He checked off a few of that class’ most luminous names—Carnegie, Rockefeller, et al.—before stopping to heap praise on one man in particular: Henry Ford.

“In January of 1914,” Carlson lectured, “Henry Ford more than doubled the prevailing factory wage, to a then-astounding five dollars for an eight-hour day. Ford didn’t have to do it, but his company was succeeding and he thought he should. Some historians trace the creation of the American middle class to Henry Ford’s decision.”

Among other things historians trace to Henry Ford is The International Jew, a 91-article series he had his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, publish. The Jewish plan, Ford’s paper enlightened its readers, was “to control the world, not by territorial acquisition, not by military aggression, not by governmental subjugation, but by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange.” Adolf Hitler called Ford an inspiration and kept a portrait of the American industrialist by his desk.

Over on Fox News, the admiration flowed along the same path on Carlson’s show. Unlike the all-American Ford, the TV host continued, our nation today was being ravaged by one greedy moneyman in particular: venture capitalist Paul Singer.

In contrast to past and Protestant paragons of American civic-mindedness, Carlson thundered, Singer made his wealth “feeding off the carcass of a dying nation,” rapaciously robbing hard-working and industrious folks in America and the world over by acquiring their enterprises and sucking their lifeblood.

Now, anyone wanting to make an honest—and, frankly, necessary—case for the iniquities committed in the name of unfettered American capitalism these days would have had many good examples to choose from. He could’ve spoken, say, about Timothy Geithner, Obama’s former treasury secretary, who runs a massive private equity fund that makes much of its money tempting desperate and impoverished people with loans that carry mafia-like interest rates. He could’ve mentioned the Johnson family, who own the investment giant Fidelity but also run a private venture capital outfit that competes directly with Fidelity’s average Joe investors. He could’ve told the story of how so many iconic American brands, from GE’s appliance line to AMC movie theaters to Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, were sold off to China for fun and profit.

But Carlson mentioned none of these cases. Instead, he trained his viewers’ sights on one target and one target only: Singer. Almost comically, the main example of Singer’s alleged perfidy Carlson cited was influencing the selling of one American sporting goods retailer, Cabela’s, to another American sporting goods retailer, Bass Pro Shops—hardly the stuff of which our worst current economic nightmares are made. None of that deterred the Fox News host. “No one’s even pretending Paul Singer’s tactics are good for anyone but Paul Singer,” Carlson railed.

Truly, Henry Ford would’ve been proud to hear his favorite theme, that of the especially amoral Jewish financier cheating people out of their hard-earned money, expressed so perfectly. It’s this kind of talk that also drove David Duke to praise Carlson for “naming the Jews,” taking care to point out Jewish individuals as the culprits behind everything from America’s crimes to its involvement with foreign wars.

And if you think the bad news stops at Fox News’ door, you’re mistaken.

Because while Carlson was out there ginning up exactly the sort of sentiments that led to the Pittsburgh massacre, our self-appointed defenders of moral rectitude and our champions of combating anti-Semitism alike were amazingly quiet. Why? When similar allegations are made against another Jewish billionaire, George Soros, many—from the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt to liberal journalist Josh Marshall—are swift to offer their unequivocal condemnations. But Soros is a lock-step funder of progressive causes, while Singer—who helped underwrite the public and legal campaigns to secure the right of gay Americans to marry, is a supporter of New York City’s food bank, and a signatory of The Giving Pledge, promising to give away more than half his wealth during his lifetime—is also a GOP donor.

For Jewish communal leaders as well as the blue check-mark journalist class, that’s a flaw that apparently makes him fair game for overt, dangerous anti-Semitism. Remember that next time any of them present themselves as arbiters of communal values or even general decency, and ask them where they were when a Jew they didn’t agree with on every single thing was blatantly targeted.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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